Andy Weissman, Partner at USV, on blockchain, network effect businesses and the evolution of the social web

Union Square Ventures, the New York-based venture capital firm, is famous for investing in ‘large networks of engaged users, differentiated by user experience, and defensible though network effects’, but how does that thesis apply today? In what sectors are there valuable network effects that remain to be unlocked by new and emerging technologies such as blockchain?

On that topic Andy Weissman, Partner at USV, joins Seedcamp Partner Carlos Espinal. After qualifying and working as a lawyer, Andy began his internet career at AOL in the 1990s before moving over to Soundview/Dawntreader Ventures. In 2007 he founded Betaworks, the New York-based startup studio and seed-stage investors notable for investments and exclusive stakes in Bitly, Chartbeat, Twitter, Tumblr and Groupon among other successes.

Discussing sectors with untapped network effects, Andy argues that there are strong opportunities in medicine and healthcare to provide modes of care that are more user-centric. He spells out his vision of the future of blockchain, with reference to USV’s investment thesis and bets on companies like Mediachain. He also discusses how, in its strategy of building companies in-house while also investing externally, Betaworks – founded in the same year as Seedcamp – closely resembles a film studio.

Learn more about the evolution of the social web, how network effect businesses scale and monetise, and USV’s pioneering role in New York’s venture and technology scenes.

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